Gregory IX.

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Depiction of Gregory IX. in a manuscript from around 1270

Gregory IX. , originally Ugolino dei Conti di Segni (Hugo, from the house of the Counts of Segni) (* around 1167 in Anagni ; † August 22, 1241 in Rome ), was Pope of the Catholic Church from March 19, 1227 until his death. He represented the supremacy of the Pope against Emperor Frederick II , reformed church legislation, promoted the orders of the Franciscans and Dominicans and fought heretics through the Inquisition .

Early years

The nephew of Pope Innocent III. who, like the latter, came from the noble family of the Conti , became chaplain of the curia in 1198 , cardinal bishop of Ostia in 1206 and thus dean of the college of cardinals . Between 1207 and 1209 he was sent to the German part of the empire as a legate .


On March 19, 1227 he was elected Pope and took the name Gregory IX. on.

Gregor promoted the religious poverty movement that was current at that time , as far as it was within the framework of church teaching. Especially the newly created mendicant orders , especially the Franciscan order, with whose founder he was personally known, found in him a committed supporter. In this context he performed some important canonizations - Francis of Assisi in 1228 , Antonius of Padua in 1232 , Dominic in 1234, and Elisabeth of Thuringia in 1235 .

With the Bull of Rieti in 1234, Gregor confirmed the Teutonic Order's rule over its possessions in Prussia.

In 1230 he commissioned Raimund von Peñaforte to create a new uniform canon law book , the Nova Compilatio Decretalium (New Collection of Decretals ) - usually referred to as Liber Extra - which remained valid for almost 700 years - until 1917. In this context, the procedure against heretics was regulated and tightened.

Gregory was a relentless opponent of heresies like the Cathars and Waldensians . He himself carried out an inquisition in Rome in 1231 , which ended with prison sentences and death sentences. Outside the Papal States , the execution of sentences was transferred to the secular judiciary, which has meant cremation at the stake since the laws against heresy passed by Emperor Friedrich II in 1224 . Gregory IX. introduced the office of inquisitor as a special representative independent of the local bishops' courts and assigned this task to particularly zealous men such as Konrad von Marburg , who was active in Germany . Based on Konrad's reports, he warned the Roman-German King Heinrich (VII.) In his letter Vox in Rama in 1233 about a heresy allegedly operating in Germany by Luciferians .

Conflict with Emperor Friedrich II.

Focus of his pontificate was the conflict with Emperor Frederick II , whose territory - the Holy Roman Empire in the north, the Kingdom of Sicily in the south - the Papal States circled. When Frederick broke off the crusade praised by Gregor's predecessor due to illness, he was excommunicated by the Pope on September 29, 1227 . The fact that Frederick, ten years after the failed peace mission of Francis of Assisi , made Jerusalem accessible to Christians again in 1229 through negotiations with Sultan Malik el-Kamil did nothing to change this. As long as they appeared unarmed, Christians were allowed to enter all cities of Palestine unhindered and carry out worship services. Friedrich had not conquered Jerusalem by force, but achieved a great success through a treaty with the Muslim Ayyubids . Frederick's appearance as King of Jerusalem also brought him into conflict with the Patriarch of Jerusalem, who also occupied the holy places of Jerusalem with the interdict .

Papal troops, the so-called "key soldiers", invaded the Kingdom of Sicily. This attack on the possessions of a Crusader who was in the Holy Land aroused general outrage. It was not until 1230 that Gregor broke the ban after losing military conflicts. In July of the same year the peace of San Germano was concluded. The tensions persisted, however, mainly because the emperor (sometimes very successfully) waged war against the Lombard League in northern Italy.

In 1239 a new argument broke out. Gregor banished Friedrich II again and called him a heretic and even an antichrist . Frederick II. Was writing customize, criticized the policy of Gregory, and fell into the troops Kirchenstaat one. A council planned for Easter 1241 had to be postponed because Frederick had several cardinals arrested in the sea ​​battle of Giglio and marched on Rome. Pope Gregory died in this situation on August 21 or 22, 1241. The power struggles between the Pope and the Emperor continued even after Gregory's death and even led to the flight of his successor Innocent IV . to Lyon in France.

The clashes are considered to be one of the first propaganda battles on a European scale, due to the worries of the representative of Christ, who had to fear for his worldly influence, and the religiously tolerant emperor, whose Sicilian coronation certificate stated: “Christian is victor, Christian is king "Christian is emperor".


  • Decretales: With the gloss of Bernardus Parmensis . Heinrich Eggestein, Strasbourg around 1468/71. Digitized
  • Decretales: With the gloss of Bernardus Parmensis . - Mainz: Peter Schöffer, 1479. Digitized edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • Decretales: With the gloss of Bernardus Parmensis . - Basel: Michael Wenssler, 1486. Digitized edition
  • Decretales: With the gloss of Bernardus Parmensis and with the addition of Hieronymus Clarius . - Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 1493. Digitized edition
  • Decretales: With the gloss of Bernardus Parmensis and with the addition of Hieronymus Clarius. 2 copies, Anton Koberger, Nuremberg 1496. Digitized
  • Decretales: With the gloss of Bernardus Parmensis . Johann Siber, Lyon around 1499. Digitized


Web links

Commons : Gregory IX.  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hubert Houben: Kaiser Friedrich II. (1194-1250). Ruler, man, myth. Stuttgart 2008, p. 44f. Andreas Fischer: Sovereign self-image and the use of the accusation of heresy as a political instrument. Frederick II and his heretic edict of 1224. In: Sources and research from Italian archives and libraries 87, 2007, pp. 71-108.
predecessor Office successor
Honorius III. Pope
Celestine IV.
Ottaviano di Paoli de 'Conti di Segni Cardinal Dean and Bishop of Ostia
Rinaldo dei Signori di Ienne